Van driver jailed for killing jogger after working 20 hour.

13179-crash-at-busy-city-roundaboutA van driver has today been jailed for four years after admitting knocking down and killing a jogger.

Shamugarasa Vinayagasivampillai had worked a 12-hour night shift when his Nissan Primastar van left the road and struck 39-year-old Louisa Gammie, who died in hospital the following day.

Vinayagasivampillai appeared at Guildford Crown Court today (Friday) having earlier pleaded guilty to the charge of causing death by dangerous driving. He was sentenced to four years in prison, disqualified for six years and ordered to pay a victim surcharge.

The fatal crash happened on November 8 last year in Old Malden Lane, Worcester Park. 

The court heard that Vinayagasivampillai, of Meadway, Surbiton, held down two jobs. He worked a 12-hour night shift seven days a week and on top of this he had an afternoon job four days a week. On the four days on which he was doing both jobs, as was the case on the day of the incident, he only got four hours sleep.

Senior investigating officer Detective Sergeant Gary Wright from the Collision Investigation Unit said: “This was a tragic incident which resulted in a woman losing her life and our thoughts and sympathies remain with her family and friends. I hope the sentencing helps them bring closure to what has been an incredibly difficult time.

“Shamugarasa Vinayagasivampillai’s reckless actions by getting behind the wheel that morning when he was extremely tired had catastrophic consequences which Louisa Gammie’s family will have to live with for the rest of their lives.

“If you know you are tired the answer is simple – do not drive.”

DS Wright added: “If you choose to continue driving when you know you are tired you are simply being selfish in putting other road users and pedestrians at risk.

“All it would take to avoid killing others, or causing serious injury, is to plan your journey better, or take adequate breaks if you’re driving long distances and importantly don’t start a long trip if you’re already tired.

“If you do start to feel tired while on the road make sure you find somewhere safe to pull over, this doesn’t include the hard shoulder.”

Research from the national road safety campaign Think! suggests that 20 per cent of accidents on major roads are sleep-related, while 40 per cent of sleep-related accidents involve commercial vehicles.

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